Tourism and development

Scotland’s tourism and visitor market is a key contributor to the economy – not just in our big cities but particularly in our rural, remote and island communities.

We recognise that our customers are looking for more than just a train ride. Increasingly they are looking for more personalised and authentic experiences, and ScotRail is ideally positioned to offer nationwide, connected and sustainable travel. This can make a big difference not just to local communities and economies, but also in ensuring we are providing opportunities and accessibility for all.

It is estimated that about one in five of our passengers are visitors on day trips or overnight stays. The vast majority are Scottish and English with our main overseas markets being North America and Germany/ France/ Ireland. These customers are generally infrequent travellers, often unfamiliar with their surroundings, and are looking for reassurance and support as well as information on places and things to see, do and visit.

Scotland has some of the greatest railway journeys in the world, and our visitors come for the outstanding natural beauty, heritage and history, bustling cities and chilled escapes – but it’s our station and on train staff that make their trip memorable.

We work closely with communities, national and local organisations, and other transport operators, to support responsible tourism. We engage and listen to the communities and customers we serve to promote destinations and help create more connected and resilient communities that are better places to live, work and visit.

One of our focuses going forward is to promote green tourism and active travel initiatives, to contribute to rail travel being the environmentally preferred transport of choice.

What you can do

  • We’re very lucky to live in such a beautiful country with lots of varied landscapes and experiences to enjoy. When thinking about your next holiday, why not consider travelling somewhere closer to home? ScotRail has a variety of Rover tickets if you fancy exploring lots of the country, or you can get great value Advance tickets when you book 12 weeks before you travel.
  • The communities of the Scottish islands took a huge hit during 2020 when all tourism was stopped. Once the islands open back up, a Rail and Sail ticket is a great way to enjoy a sustainable holiday that can really make a difference to local communities.
  • If you’re planning a day trip with family or friends, children can travel for just £1 return with a paying adult. A Kids for a Quid ticket also allows one free child entry to selected attraction across Scotland. We also offer 2 for 1 Offers when you show an adult train ticket at selected attractions across Scotland.
  • Read our blogs for itineraries, ideas and inspiration.

If you would like to chat to our group travel team or get some more information on train travel for tourism or groups in Scotland, please contact [email protected]